When we care, we can be changed.
If you were to think about what it means to confess you might first come up with a definition something like this….to declare or acknowledge ones sins, especially to God.
Consider the idea that the act of confession may not be only in the personal realm. It can be applied in a broader scope simply meaning “to agree, admit, or acknowledge.”
…To acknowledge or avow a fault, a failure, a wrongdoing, (crime, misdeed, weakness, etc.) by way of revelation
…To own or admit as true
…To reveal by circumstances
and in many other places as well, there is much suffering and injustice. Confession in this regard would mean to
acknowledge those who suffer, to see them in their real, very challenging life
circumstances. Revelation of these
situations can come from God as he asks us to listen to them, to hear their
story, to validate their hardship. As we
validate their stories, we validate them, we give them dignity.
Confession of injustice may reveal failure to care. When we confess we begin to care. When we care, we can be changed.
Commitment matters as well when we approach suffering and injustice. Recommitting ones self to God on a regular basis is a necessary habit. Without genuine commitment there is risk of setting out on a journey that might not be finished. The more we understand the stories of those trapped in conditions of suffering and injustice the more we can care. The more we can be changed.
How do we increase our capacity to care? Are we increasingly willing to offer ourselves to God? We can take more risks with others, we can be more honest with ourselves. When we care, we can be changed. We need faith to believe, clear vision to see, and ears to hear. When we ask for courage to live all this out, we can be changed.
Central College in Pella, IA challenged a team of students to take the risk and spend a week serving while having the chance to see God at work. With the faith to believe and the courage to live it out, those who belong to God are chosen to take radical steps toward bringing justice to a suffering world.
We traveled with the team back to Haiti after spending several weeks in the states. We had meetings with MH4H board and staff to share in person what we have been seeing and hearing and doing with the ministry over the previous months.
As the rainy season begins, travel through the Central Plateau of Haiti can be slow and arduous.
(Craig says, "Arduous? I call it nauseating!")
This was definitely the case on our ride from Port au Prince to Pignon. The rented van carrying
16 people and a ton of luggage got hung up in the rutted, muddy road. We climbed out onto the muddy road to lighten the load and the driver was able to get free from the mud and on our way we went.
The team is relaxing and playing after working alongside the Haitian concrete floor crew at this house
We heard this man's story as we shared food and God's word. His name is Tine.
It was easy to see the problems he was having at his home as the rainy season begins.
Inside Tine's one room home was bright. Notice the sunlight coming through the holes in the tin roof. But the room was also evidently wet after the rain.
The team offered to replace the bad pieces of tin with new...Tin for Tine! Ebens, MH staff member, tells Tine that this comes out of the love of Jesus. Telling Tine that he matters in the kingdom of God. When we care, we can be changed.
Inside the house, the team discovered another need.
See below: Tine's bed,
a stuffed rice sack for a pillow and a couple old t-shirts for a cover that were damp from the rain..
A mattress was an affordable gift the team could bring for Tine.
"Mesi anpil!" says Tine. "Bondye Beni ou." said the team members.
(Thank you very much - God bless you)
Krisiana Noel was another woman in tremendous need. The team brought the blessing of some rice
and beans and saw the need to make a trip to the mattress store.
We were frequent shoppers this week.
Mattress delivery...No problem!
When we care, we can be changed
The neighbors were happy for the family that received some food.
When they care, they can be changed.
An update...These are the twins from the neighborhood whose mother died in childbirth in March.
Kris Mylove and Kris Dylove are thriving under the care of their aunt. They came to the dorm to visit.
Pictured here are four little girls, all sisters of the twin babies. The MH goat program provided the way for them to receive this goat. The program asks that the first female goat be given back to the program to then be passed on to another family.
Finally, Many Hands for Haiti Construction Coordinator, Burns Cesaire.
Making a trip to Hinche to buy supplies for a house build he has been working on for MH.
We know God has amazing things planned for the ministry of MH.
Part of the new land in Sylvain is being prepared for planting....
a well will be drilled very soon....
new storage for Meals from the Heartland will be made....
Buildings for security personnel and the THRIVE program are being designed with construction to begin soon....
The community members in Sylvain are being interviewed to evaluate the needs....
the new THRIVE program details are being mapped out....
selection of participants will happen soon....
Teams will be serving throughout the summer....
"As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience."
Colossians 3:12 NRSV
"How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods
and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action."
1 John 3:17-18 NRSV
"But let me run loose and free, celebrating God's great work,
every bone in my body laughing, singing, 'God, there's no one like you.
You put the down-and-out on their feet and protect the unprotected from bullies!' "
Psalm 35:9-10 The Message